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Our General English and Intensive English courses are designed to help students make rapid progress in English, and focus on the four key language skills – reading, writing, listening and speaking – with lots of additional work on vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation.

The courses are 15 hours per week, 20 hours per week or 30 hours per week*.

*Academic hours: each academic hour = 50 minutes class time

Academic profile

Our Academic team continually reviews the syllabus to ensure our lessons are fresh, modern and relevant to today’s international topics. In class we use the most recent up-to-date editions of textbooks by leading British academic publishers, while our teachers are experienced and very highly-qualified, and include PhD-holders from Oxford and Harvard universities. See our most recent ISI inspection summary

There are progress tests for all students every two weeks, enabling our teachers to closely monitor learning and to guide and support each student more effectively. There are also fortnightly tutorials, during which individual learning targets are discussed and reviewed.

International mix

Every year students from more than 70 different countries join our General English courses, so you'll be in good company. Our students make lifelong friends from all over the world, learn about other cultures, receive invitations to visit countries they’ve never been to before and, best of all, get lots of practice in listening and speaking English!



Continuous enrolment

Students can join our school on any Monday, and can study as long as they wish. Our courses are structured so that new students slot in seamlessly, immediately taking their places in the class and participating in class activities with their new classmates.

Some students study for as little as one week, some for one year or more. It simply depends on the student and his/her needs.

Age range of students

Most of the students in our General English and Intensive English courses are age 18 – 25, and many of these are current undergraduates or recent graduates aiming to improve their English for their university courses or professional careers. We also have a significant number of gap-year students, focusing on improving their English before university. Professionals and students already in higher education also attend courses at OSE.

In the school holidays especially, we also always have students age 16 – 17 (our minimum age is 16), eager to expand their English skills for high school or university entrance.

More mature students are of course always welcome too, and older people from huge range of professional backgrounds – doctors, lawyers, accountants, civil servants and more, as well as housewives and people who have retired – join courses in our school each year. The inclusive structure and layout of the school mean that everyone feels welcome and at home.

Can you guess the age of our two oldest ever students? to find out!

Class sizes

Our classes are small, with a maximum of 15 students. In the lower and higher levels, there are often only 6 – 8 students per class.

Class levels

We have classes at 8 different levels:

  • A0 (Beginner)
  • A1 (Elementary)
  • A2 (Pre-Intermediate)
  • B1 (Intermediate)
  • B2 (Upper Intermediate)
  • B2E (Upper Intermediate exam class)
  • C1 (Advanced)
  • C2 (Proficiency)

All new students are asked to complete our online placement test or are tested on their first morning in the school, to check their level.

Please note that students at Beginner level are accepted on specific dates only.

Universities in the UK

Most of our students return to their own countries at the end of their English course, but a proportion of them go on to study at university here in the UK (often Oxford).

We have close and long-standing relationships with specific UK universities, especially Oxford Brookes University, and our Academic team is always on hand to provide in-depth help and advice to students aiming to move on to Foundation, Undergraduate or Postgraduate courses.

Social programme

The school has an extensive social programme, with weekly evening events and a choice of excursions each weekend.

Evening events include Pub Night every Thursday (our most popular activity, usually with 40-50 students and teachers and in the summer as many as 130!); and weekend excursions include trips to Scotland, Paris and Amsterdam as well as London, Brighton, Bath & Stonehenge.


Lessons are Monday to Friday, although it is also possible for some students to study part-time.

General English 15 (mornings)

09:30 – 10:45 Lesson 1
10:45 – 11:15 Break in our student lounge
11:15 – 12:30 Lesson 2

More information

General English 15 (afternoons)

14:30 – 16:00 Lesson 1
16:00 – 16:15 Break in our student lounge
16:15 – 17:15 Lesson 2

More information

General English 20

09:30 – 10:45 Lesson 1
10:45 – 11:15 Break in our student lounge
11:15 – 12:30 Lesson 2
12:30 – 12:45 Break in our student lounge
12:45 – 13:35 Lesson 3

More information

Intensive timetables

Intensive English 30

09:30 – 10:45 Lesson 1
10:45 – 11:15 Break in our student lounge
11:15 – 12:30 Lesson 2
12:30 – 14:30 Lunch at local cafes/shops
14:30 – 16:00 Lesson 1
16:00 – 16:15 Break in our student lounge
16:15 – 17:15 Lesson 2

Intensive English 30 students at B2 level and above are able to attend the afternoon Fluency class, when their timetable changes to the following:

09:30 – 10:45 Lesson 1
10:45 – 11:15 Break in our student lounge
11:15 – 12:30 Lesson 2
12:30 – 12:45 Break in our student lounge
12:45 – 13:35 Lesson 3
13:35 – 14:30 Lunch at local cafes/shops
14:30 – 16:00 Lesson 4

More information

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  • hello. my name is abdirizak hasan from i am living and study in turkey for marine transportation I am interested to study general English for 5-12 for the period july 20 to 20 august

  • Guest - pietro

    Good morning,

    I am a 46 year old Italian architecte.
    I am looking for 4 weeks of intensive english course in Oxford.
    I am interesting in your intensive English 30.
    Is it available in November?

    Best regards.
    Pietro Delporto

    from Ibiza, Balearic Islands, Spain
  • Guest - Lina

    Hi I am interested in fluency skills, expert writing and business english.
    I dont need visa, already living in the UK can you please contact me. thanks

  • Dear
    I am attending a workshop in oxford from 11 to 13 July 2018.
    I need to know if it is possible to have one week courses beginning from 14 July 2018. Then I will return back to Heathrow airport.
    I am 45 years old.

  • Guest - Fayiz

    Did you offer any full scholarship for citizens of Afghanistan

  • Guest - Fayiz

    Hi Iam 16 years old I want to know is here is any scholarship for high school thank you

    from Pakistan
  • Guest - fatma

    I wanna ask about the date of fluency skills course???

    from Oman
  • Dear Fatma,
    Our Fluency Skills course runs on demand and is usually available during the summer months only, starting at the beginning of July. Students must be a minimum English level of a high B2 to join the course.
    The cost of the course is 110 GBP per week plus a 65 GBP registration fee.
    If the dates are suitable for you, please complete our enrolment form and return it to us.

    from Oxford, UK
  • Guest - Hamad Assugaihi

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    We are a translation unit and we are translating between English and Arabic. I am planning to develop the skills of my team by sending two or more translators to assess and develop their skills in English. However, the period of the course can't exceed 2 weeks in one year.

    Is it OK for you to arrange such intensive course?


    Hamad Assugaihi

    from Riyadh Saudi Arabia
  • Dear Hamad,
    Thank you for your message. Attending our Intensive English Courses for only 2 weeks is absolutely fine. They can indeed study from 1 week. The course costs 328 per week, plus a 65 GBP registration fee. Therefore, the total amount for the 2 week course is 721 GBP.
    If they require accommodation, the option is either homestay Single Room (175 GBP per week) or Homestay Executive Room (230 GBP per week), plus a 25 GBP accommodation finding fee. In order to enrol them on the course, please fill in the enrolment form which you can download from our website and send it back to us. I will then send you the invoices.
    Kind regards,
    Eiko Kato

  • Guest - Linda

    I am 16 years old and I would really like to go to your intensive English course, but even though 16 year olds are welcomed to come as well I still feel like I would have no one to hang out with if there would be mostly adults in the room and I feel like I would feel lonely. I was wondering if you could tell me, do people my age that come there get along well with the adults and also, approximately how many 16 and 17 year olds come there during the summer? Thank you in advance for your reply.
    Kind regards,

    from Slovenia
  • Guest - Macia


    My daughter will turn 16 in september 2018 and she would like to attend 3 weeks intensive English lessons in june-july to progress in her Proficiency level final goal (in 1 or 2 years). Which of your programs are best suited for her? Can she attend your intensive programs at "officially" 15 years old

    Thank you,

  • Dear Esther,
    We also run Junior Summer School from the first week of July. The students are aged 12-17 and come to us either as part of a group or individually. If your daughter could possibly arrive in July rather than June, this is another possibility. Here is the link for our Junior Summer School. You can download the brochure as well as see the prices. This might be the better option for her, as she can study and play with students whose age is similar to your daughter.
    Kind regards,
    Eiko Kato

  • Dear Esther,
    Thank you for your email and interest in our school. Unfortunately, we only accept students who are over 16, as the students over and under 16 are not allowed to study in the same classroom, the regulation of which is set by British Council. Therefore, the only option available is one-to-one private lessons which will cost 58 GBP per hour. If you are still interested in, please do not hesitate to contact us again.
    Kind regards,
    Eiko Kato

  • Guest - Merel van Huijstee-de Wilde

    Good evening,

    Is it also possible to do an English course online? Thank you very much for your reply.

    Kind regards,

    Merel van Huijstee

  • Hi Merel, unfortunately we don't offer online courses. Best wishes

    from Oxford, UK
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University Summer Courses
Medical Biology

Course content

The conventional way of looking at Medicine is through the diagnosis of illness and the prescription of drugs. This course approaches medical biology through one of its major fields, toxicology, taking drugs as the starting point rather than the 'cure'.

Toxicology is the scientific study of adverse effects in living organisms due to environmental agents and chemical compounds found in nature, as well as pharmaceutical compounds synthesized for medical use by humans. It involves observing and reporting on the symptoms, mechanisms, detection and treatment of toxic substances in relation to the poisoning of humans; producing toxic effects such as disturbance in growth patterns, discomfort, disease and death. It focuses on the adverse effects that can occur in living organisms that come into contact with chemicals.

Course outcomes

By the end of you will become aware of the pathologies associated with toxicology and the risk assessment work of toxicologists. You will learn about current debates centered on drug abuse and will discuss recent high-profile cases.


Course content

This course explores key concepts in Business, including management, marketing, communication, negotiating and presentations. In today’s global economy and increasingly competitive world, good communication is vital and this involves language skills as well as personal resilience. Students on this course have the opportunity to fine-tune their negotiation and public speaking skills through group project work and presentations.

Students explore the world of business in some detail, examining a range of concepts, from the importance of mission statements to managing finances, and discuss how recent local and world events have shaped today’s ever-changing business world.

Course outcomes

By the end of the course students will be able to plan and present an effective presentation in small groups, have learned how to work effectively in a group, practiced and fine-tuned their negotiating skills and have discussed a variety of business-related topics.

English Literature

Course content

What is style? Why do we like some pieces of writing but find others dull? Are there any objective techniques for evaluating written texts? This course is built around a selection of classic and modern texts, representing a range of genres within the broad categories of prose, poetry and plays. Students will be taught how to analyse and comment on texts, developing their critical skills and knowledge of literary devices and terminology.

Students will also have the opportunity to engage in class discussions and debates.

Course outcomes

By the end of the course, students will have gained confidence in their skills for literary analysis and in their own judgements and their ability to defend them.


Course content

Focusing on criminal law, this course will provide a grounding in the idiosyncrasies of the UK common law system, which can be unpredictable and inconsistent in its application; the criminal court system (magistrates’ courts, crown courts and the supreme court, formerly the House of Lords) and the key concepts underpinning criminal law (actus reus and mens rea). Students will learn about, discuss and come up with defences for a series of fascinating real life cases, each of which illustrates a different aspect of UK law in action.

Course outcomes

By the end of the course students will have gained an overview of the criminal justice system, and an understanding of its key legal concepts and an ability to debate and comment on real life cases and their outcomes.


Course content

Students following this course are instantly plunged into the world of politics, exploring deep below the surface to discover exactly what it is, examining the figures who populate it, and exploring the political systems of different countries. Ultimately, the course defines the importance of politics globally, and also in our own personal lives.

The course will look at political events on a global scale and how they permeate our day-to-day lives. The course will also demonstrate how different definitions of politics are formed, with students analysing concepts in the social sciences and how they are contested. Students will have the opportunity to evaluate different political perspectives and allow their own views to flourish, and be challenged by discussing significant political events of the twenty-first century.

Course outcomes

By the end of the course students will be able to interpret different definitions of politics, and to understand both the people who are involved and how different countries use it. Students will evaluate the importance of politics and how it affects everyday life.

Writing for University

Course content

Essay writing skills are a major part of a university education. Expressing your ideas, formulating a structured argument or even thinking of ideas to include can be very challenging. In this course you will learn how develop critical and creative thinking skills and to plan, organise and write first-class essays for study purposes. Being able to write well improves all areas of study skills, including effective reading, following lectures and note-taking.

Course outcomes

By the end of the course students will be able to plan and write a structured essay, have had extensive practice in persuasive writing and have acquired practical knowledge of how to make their essays stand out from the crowd.


Course content

In this course, students will be introduced to philosophical stuctures through classic texts, contemporary thought and popular culture. Lessons will focus on the nature of reality, not just through the eyes of Descartes and Hume, but as depicted in films like The Matrix and Blade Runner. Students will learn about and discuss ethics, though they will not be confined to the ideas of Plato and Aristotle. They will also engage with the contemporary bioethics of Peter Singer and examine the crucial role of ethics today in business and politics. The aim of the course is not simply to familiarise students with the history of philosophy, but to encourage them to engage with ideas and see that philosophy is all around and more than a worthwhile endeavour.

Course outcomes

By the end of the course students will have acquired valuable transferable skills including the recognition of fallacies in argument, debating and discussion skills and increased their confidence in expressing their opinions cogently and respectfully in front of a group with divergent views.

Creative Writing

This course helps students develop their expressive skills by looking at the techniques used in a wide variety of texts whilst also developing their critical reading skills. It gives students a taste of some of the processes involved in becoming a writer, from reading more insightfully to recording their own ideas and experiences in more interesting and original ways. It also helps them to access reference materials, so that they can find out more about writers and language for themselves.

During the course students are given a wide range of long and shorter writing exercises and are encouraged to experiment with many different forms and styles, in order to identify and develop their own writing strengths and preferences.

Course outcomes

By the end of the course students have learned how to observe and comment on points of style, and to identify confidently what makes a piece of writing original. They will have engaged in critical thinking, which involves noticing things about written texts and pinpointing how effects are produced; a key skill for any serious writer.

Introduction to IELTS

Course content

Any non-native speaker of English planning to study at an English-speaking university will need to take an IELTS exam, which assesses whether you are ready to study on a programme taught in English. Our Introduction to IELTS course introduces students to all four parts of the IELTS exam, teaching them how to approach each part most effectively, to give them the best possible chance of getting into the university of their choice. This course has been developed in collaboration with IELTS examiners and includes detailed instruction in the very best exam techniques and model answers for writing tasks prepared by examiners.

Course objectives

By the end of the course students will have acquired the exam techniques to confidently sit for the exam and have had extensive practice in all four parts of the IELTS exam.

Acting & Performance Skills

The Acting & Performance Skills workshop introduces students to a range of performance methods and techniques which are challenging and fun at the same time. Students will explore movement, voice control and acting skills through a variety of drama techniques including improvisation, building confidence and creativity and developing a practical working knowledge of performance methodology indispensable to any future career. The afternoon workshop will follow on to scenes or monologues chosen from classical or modern theatre.

Leadership & Teambuilding

This afternoon workshop will provide an introduction to the basic skills and knowledge you need to become an effective manager and leader. Key concepts of management and leadership will be defined and discussed and different management and learning styles will be evaluated. Students will be given the opportunity to consider what it means to work in a team, and to be in a position of leadership.

Brasenose College

Brasenose College is one of the constituent colleges in the University of Oxford and is located in the very heart of the city, adjacent to the Radcliffe Camera, Oxford’s most iconic landmark. Although the college is generally regarded as having been founded in 1509, its history stretches back much further, as the site was occupied by Brasenose Hall, one of the mediaeval Oxford institutions which began as lodging houses and gradually became more formal places of learning.

Brasenose alumni include UK Prime Ministers David Cameron and Henry Addington, Australian Prime Ministers Malcom Turnbull and John Gorton, the comedian Michael Palin, the authors John Buchan and William Golding, England cricketer Colin Cowdrey, William Webb Ellis (credited with the invention of rugby football), Douglas Haig and Robert Runcie.

We are both fortunate and delighted to be able to use the facilities of Brasenose College for our courses and students during the summer.

Classical Civilization

Course Content

The ancient world is the source of many aspects of present-day culture and politics. Greek and Roman art, architecture, myths, philosophy and literature have profoundly influenced our world view. Through an exploration of topics ranging from the honour codes of Ancient Greek and Roman heroes and the representation of women in Ancient Greek drama to the philosophy of Plato and the best-known myths, this course highlights the impact of classical civilization on modern thought systems, culture, politics, gender roles, architecture and art.

Course Outcomes

This course will help students to develop their critical and analytical skills. Close readings of selected texts will also expand their understanding of different thought systems and moral codes. Students will learn about the influence of classical art on later art, architecture and even dance and gain an understanding of how classical stories have been used in painting, sculpture and even dance to challenge the social ideas of different historical periods, such as the Victorian Age.

Political Science & International Relations

Course content

Students following this course will have the opportunity to study international relations and combine this with the study of political theory and the national politics of a variety of countries. This course will look at the origin of politics, forms of government in various countries, the various rights of people in a country, and the role of the ruling party and the opposition party in different countries. It will also allow students to examine major problems being faced by the international community today focussing on the political, military, economic, and cultural interaction at a global level.

Course outcomes

By the end of the course students will have the knowledge and the analytical tools required to evaluate problems in the world today.

Experimental Psychology

Course content

Students following this course will be focussing on contemporary psychological research rather than focusing on the history of psychology. This course will look at, inter alia, the importance of ideas that are testable and driven by hypothesis in order to reach an understanding of the mind and human behaviour.

This course will look at the experiments behind the research studies that influence change in the social sciences. It will also look at the importance of following the ethical guidelines of human experimentation, avoiding biases, and collaborating as part of a team and how such research can be quantitatively studied.

Course outcomes

By the end of the course students will have an understanding of how crucial the impact of a psychological experiment is in the social sciences and of the varied experimental processes used in conducting introspective research.


Course content

Students following this course will look at the operation of markets and market failure with particular attention given to economic methodology, competitive and concentrated markets, and market behaviour. Students will look at how national economies perform in a global world. This will include the study of how the macro economy functions and how its performance is measured.

Course outcomes

By the end of this course students will gain an overview of the interrelationship between microeconomics and macroeconomics and will have an insight into economic theory and how to analyse current economic issues.

Academic Writing and Critical Thinking

Course Content

Academic writing and critical thinking skills are a major part of university education. Students following this course will refine and improve their academic writing by covering a broad range of key functional and textual areas. In this course students will learn how to plan, organise and write excellent essays for academic purposes and develop critical and creative thinking skills. Students' critical thinking skills will be developed by exploring current controversial issues with international appeal.

Course Outcomes

By the end of the course students will be able to plan and write a structured academic essay. Furthermore, students will start to re-evaluate their assumptions and form their own points of view as they develop their critical thinking skills.

Teacher Refresher course - sample timetable
Sessions Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Methodology 09:30-10:45
Approaches to teaching & learning
Teaching speaking
The lexical method
Teaching listening
Task-based teaching
Advanced Language Awareness 11:15-12:30
How the tense system works
Speaking activities
Idioms and collocations
Focus on pronunciation
Practical ideas for teaching writing
Practical Classroom Activities 12:45-13:45
Bringing British culture to the classroom
Materials workshop
Vocabulary – building exercises for students
Songs and games in the classroom
Creating grammar tasks from children's story

16 and 17 year olds on adult courses – GUIDELINES and ADVICE

Dear student,

Oxford School of English wish you a safe and rewarding time during your stay in Oxford. You will be supervised most of the time you are here, but there will be times when you will not be supervised. We want you to feel safe at all times so please follow these guidelines and take our advice:

  • Please sign-in every day. The 'sign-in' book is at reception.
  • Please call the school if you are ill, you will have to come into school if your host family is not home.
  • Please call the school if there is any other reason for which you cannot come to school.
  • Please respect the host-family's and schools curfew time. Please make sure you are home no later than 10:30pm.
  • Always travel with in pairs or in a group for safety especially in the evenings or late at night.
  • Always carry the bus time-table or download the app so you know what time the buses are due.
  • Always use the main roads when walking home in the evenings and do not use short-cuts.
  • Always use the pedestrian crossings when crossing the road. Remember we drive on the left-hand side of the road in the UK!
  • Always carry your Student Card with your host-family’s telephone number and the school's emergency numbers with you and not just in your phone.
  • Do not accept lifts from people you do not know or anyone who claims to know you through a friend or your host-family.
  • Do not accept any alcohol from anyone and do not offer to carry any alcohol or drugs from anyone.
  • When you are given free time during an excursion make sure you know the meeting time, place and have the emergency telephone numbers.
  • If you are allowed to make your own way home from a weekday excursion, always travel in pairs or groups and always inform the school at the end of the excursion and when you have arrived home.
  • If you know you will be arriving late from a weekend excursion organised by our tour operator, e.g UK Study Tours, ask reception for the telephone number for the local taxi company.
  • If you have any questions or problems, please speak to our U18s welfare officer or anyone at the school.
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